Del Graff, Alberta Child and Youth Advocate, and Corey O’Soup, Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth will be traveling to Bogota, Colombia as part of a joint presentation to the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the issue of youth suicide.
“We must work harder to support Indigenous young people at risk for suicide. The Government of Canada must look at the creation of a national suicide prevention strategy and make the issue of Indigenous youth suicide a greater priority, and to devote the resources and support to address it effectively,” said Graff.
O’Soup has recently released a special report on Indigenous youth suicide in northern Saskatchewan that reflect the actions required to deal with this issue.
“The staggering rates of suicide amongst our Indigenous people is disheartening and is one of the many consequences of colonization and residential schools. The future of our youth is compromised when we ignore their needs. We cannot accept this and holding our government to account with immediate action is critical to help our young people,” said O’Soup.
Graff and O’Soup are representing the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA). The CCCYA is an association of provincial Advocates across Canada who hold explicit mandates to advance the rights of children and youth, to address and take action on specific issues such as child and youth deaths by suicide, or other systemic issues that are thematic in every province.
On February 28, 2018, they will be presenting to the Commission on behalf of the CCCYA. The CCCYA is supporting the cost of this trip.